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  • We carried the box out of the car and set it gently on those straps, suspended over the hole.

    I won't never ever forget that lonely creaky sounds those straps make when released, when my Mom went into the ground.

    Creak. Creak. Creak.

    Lower. Lower. Lower.

    I put in the earth with you this last post card, hand delivered, the next in the series of ones I had sent from every state and province on my travel trip. It was one I bought to send you hours before I got the call that you were gone.

    I spoke about how I was worried when I told you last March that I had quit a well paying job to spend five months touring the country, without a plan to get a job or line up health insurance. I imagined you would tell me what a foolish choice this was, to not have an income or health insurance, yet that was far from what you said.

    You were so excited for my plan. I told them about the “Cousin Bobby” postcards I sent from every state and province; that Sunday afternoon I was almost out of Ontario when I remembered to get you a Toronto card (this one in my hand). Now Mom I am going to deliver the last postcard (big tears).

    I talked about how as a teen and a young adult how uncool it was to be around my Mom, how your “squareness” annoyed me, your over protective actions that bridled my identity as a “man”. I then shared, with a verbal smiley, how much you changed in the next 20 years (ahem) especially after Dad passed; how I looked forward to our weekly calls, our laughs, the fun we had on her visits to Strawberry.

    And I talked about how much I learned from your selfless sacrifice, how you lived to make connections with strangers, how you were really interested in making people, strangers feel important.

    I talked about how you participated in my online stuff, letting me blog about you, share your cookie stories and butterfly philosophy live over internet radio– that you had a huge following of thousands of people out there who were touched by you, even that they were right now playing “Sweet Caroline” on the internet radio station my friends gather around.

    I mentioned how your stories made an impact on Claudia, a teacher in Argentina I never met but was among those dream friends that are real on the Internet.

    I told you how much light you made in the world and how lost I am without you (bigger tears).

    A few prayers, the ropes creak, down it goes, we toss dirt (and one postcard), and it’s over.

    Creak. Creak. Creak.

    Down no more. We toss dirt.

    And we leave this place.

    Without you in this world, but with you in my loving heart. If I can only be as loving as you were.
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